(The Hill) — Former Vice President Mike Pence said he believes he “did the right thing” when he certified the results of the 2020 presidential election in January, ignoring then-President Donald Trump’s repeated requests that he object to the vote.
Pence, in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network that aired on Thursday, said he knows in his “heart of hearts” he did the right thing on Jan. 6.
“On Jan. 6, I said that I believe there were irregularities about which I was concerned, and I wanted them to have a fair hearing before the Congress, but from the founding of this nation forward, it’s been well established that elections are to be governed at the state level and that the only role that Congress has is to open and count the electoral votes that are submitted by states across the country, no more, no less than that,” Pence said.
“In January of 2017, I took an oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States. The Bible says in Psalm 15 that he keeps his oath even when it hurts, and on that day, I could relate to that sentiment, but I wanted to keep my oath to the Constitution. … I know in my heart of hearts that on that day, we did our duty under the Constitution. … I know I did the right thing,” he added.
Pence, despite intense lobbying from Trump, certified the 2020 presidential election results during a joint session of Congress in the early hours of Jan. 7, after the vote was delayed several hours because a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in what turned out to be a deadly riot.
After it became clear that Pence would not try to overturn the vote, some protesters outside the Capitol were heard chanting, “Hang Mike Pence.”
Trump had been pushing Pence to reject the Electoral College vote, contending that the election was riddled with fraud.
The former vice president previously said he was “proud” that he and congressional lawmakers reconvened in the Capitol after the building had been cleared of rioters, adding that they “fulfilled our duty under the Constitution.”
He also said, “there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”
Pence’s outlook, however, largely differs from that of Trump, who has knocked Pence for not following his requests to reject the results.
Trump reportedly told Pence on the morning of Jan. 6 that the then-vice president did not “have the courage” to reject the results of the election, according to the book “I Alone Can Fix It” by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.
Trump, during an interview in March with ABC News’s Jonathan Karl for his book “Betrayal,” appeared to justify the protesters chanting, “Hang Mike Pence,” saying, “Well, the people were very angry.”